JUSTIN, TEXAS – The Seward County Saints baseball team (3-1) split Saturday's double-header with the Galveston Whitecaps, winning the first game 5-3 before dropping the second game 2-1.
GAME ONE RECAP
The Saints had a use a late scoring surge in order to pick up the win in the first game. Jordan Pepper (1-0) got the win on the mound, pitching 4.0 innings giving up two hits. The three runs scored on Pepper were unearned. Cole Evans came in for relief, picking up the save in 3.0 innings pitched, giving up just one hit.
A single and two walks in the top of the 1st loaded the bases for Cayde Ward, who grounded into a fielder's choice, but still brought home a run, making it 1-0. Jose Caraballo reached on a lead-off singled, while Cruz Shope and Austin Tidwell both reached on balls.
A walk and two errors loaded the bases for the Whitecaps in the bottom of the first. David Jenks hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score the first run for Galveston. A fielder's choice with the next at-bat put runners at 2nd and 3rd before a Saint error by Joseph Kuhn brought a second run home to give the Whitecaps the 2-1 lead at the end of the 1st.
It appeared the scoring would stall for both teams in the second, but a two-out error trying to catch a Whitecap stealing brought home the third run of the day for Galveston, giving the Whitecaps a 3-1 lead.
One-two-three innings for the 3rd and 4th kept Galveston from extending their lead any. In the top of the 5th inning, the Saints used a leadoff single, followed by a walk to put themselves in good scoring position. Following a sacrifice bunt by Tidwell to put the runners in scoring position, Ward cranked a two-run double to left field to tie the game a three.
Following a strikeout for the second out, the Saints hit back-to-back doubles to right field to bring, what would be, the winning runs across the plate, making the score 5-3 in favor of Seward. Joe Kuhn brought home ward with his double, while Tabor Johns batted in Kuhn.
The Whitecaps would get two baserunners over the next two innings, but the Saints defense prevented them from scoring, giving Seward the win.
Ward finished with a game-high three RBI. Pepper and Evans combined for just three hits over seven innings.
GAME TWO RECAP
Both teams were strong on the mound in the second game, but a strong fifth inning was all the Whitecaps needed to come away with a win. Ethan Earhart (1-1) started for the Saints, pitching 4.1 inning. He gave up five hits and two runs before Dylan Paul came in to relieve him, pitching 2.2 innings and striking out four batters.
Neither team could get their offense going through the first four innings, as the Saints were without a baserunner through four. A leadoff single in the top of the fifth gave Galveston an opportunity to use a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to second base. The next batter singled to left field, bringing home the runner to give the Whitecaps a 1-0 lead.
Another single put runners at first and second before a double to left field drove home the second run of the game for the Whitecaps, bringing the game to 2-0.
Ben Tsui reached second base in the bottom of the fifth but was left stranded following a fly out to right field and a strike out.
Paul retired the side in the top of the sixth keeping the game within reach for the Saints. Brooks Williams reached on a leadoff walk in the bottom of the sixth inning to Seward just their second baserunner of the game.
A ground out to third base pushed Williams to second. Cole Bergdall took advantage of the runner on second, hitting a double to right field to bring Williams home. That would be all the Saints could get in the game, as the Whitecaps put the game away an inning later by a score of 2-1.
The Saints had just five baserunners in the game, two from hits and two from walks. Bergdall and Tsui were the lone Saints to reach on hits.
Seward will look to finish their weekend trip on a positive note, playing the last of four games tomorrow (Sunday) at 11:00 a.m. against Galveston.